A Nasty Little Franchise

15 Feb

Wakefield may have the highest public profile but he is just one of many who seek to profit from autism and he is by no means the worst. Remember the Geiers? This father and son team from Silver Springs in Maryland have an unsavoury record that makes Wakefield seem almost reasonable.

Wakefield breached the terms of his hospital’s ethics committee. The Geiers, operating out of the family home, invented their own IRB and granted themselves ethical approval for experiments on children with a powerful drug called Lupron. Lupron is used to treat precocious puberty, a rare condition in young children. It is also used is also used to treat prostate cancer in men, to treat endometriosis in women, and to chemically castrate sex offenders. The Geiers use it on autistic children and young adults.

Kathleen Seidel has catalogued their bad science, plagiarism, inflated academic resumes, the fraudulent IRB, cruel and unnecessary blood draws, attempted deals with TAP pharmaceuticals and the Lupron Protocol itself on her Neurodiversity website. Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune covers all the basics in her recent profile of the Geiers,  ‘Miracle drug’ called junk science.

The most disturbing part of Tsouderos’ story was the news that the Geiers were rolling out a franchise for others to cash in on their unproven and dangerous protocol. According to their website they offer the following

  • Genetic Markers (DNA Fragile X Syndrome, Blood Chromosome, Chromosome Microarrays, DNA Rett Syndrome, Angelman/Prader Willi Syndrome)
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction (Carnitine, Lactic Acid, Ammonia, Hand Muscle Testing)
  • Hormone Imbalances (Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, DHEA, DHEA-S, Androstenedione, Dihydrotestosterone, Total Estrogens, Estrone, Estradiol, ACTH, Aldosterone, Prolactin, FSH, LH)
  • Oxidative Stress/Inflammation (Neopterin, Lipid Peroxides)
  • Detoxification Pathways (Glutathione, Cystathionine, Homocysteine, Methionine)
  • Immune System Function (Immune Deficiency Profile, HLA-Testing, Immune Complexes, Food Allergies, Celiac’s Disease)
  • Heavy Metals (Porphyrins, Blood Metals, Urinary Metals)
  • Neurological Dysfunction (Brain MRI scans, Brain SPECT scans)
  • General Health Status (Comphrensive Metabolic Panel)

And this is the team that will deliver these services.

  • Maryland: Mark Geier MD, geneticist and David Young MD, Obstetrician and gynaecologist.
  • Springfield, llinois: Mary Young MD, psychiatrist and neurologist.
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: David Claymore, neuroradiologist.
  • Parsippany, New Jersey: Paul King, industrial chemist.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: Melissa Troutman, radiologic technologist.
  • Dallas, Texas: Janet Kern, RN, neuroscientist.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: Janet Pope, RN

And that is it. The only member of the American Academy of Pediatrics is Mary Young who has worked as a child psychiatrist. There are no board certified endocrinologists or anybody with the board certification to diagnose and treat precocious puberty in children.

And what of David Geier BA? He remains vice-president of the non-profit 501(c)3 Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc. and the non-profit 501(c)3 CoMeD, Inc. Much of the profit from the franchise will be directed to “these corporations dedicated to
autism research and advocacy efforts.” sure. So families or their insurers will be paying for treatments for their children that have been condemned by real autism experts as junk science. And the profits from this enterprise will be used to fund more junk science. Do they have a GMC in America? Do they want to borrow ours?

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5 Responses to “A Nasty Little Franchise”

  1. Prometheus February 15, 2010 at 23:27 #

    OK, here’s where I start to get a little confused. Are Geier and Geier actually doing the analysis in the basement of their suburban Silver Springs home? Or are they sending the specimens out to an appropriate clinical laboratory to have them done?

    Secondly, are we to assume that Geier and Geier are qualified to give advice to parents based on the results of these tests? That also seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    For example, they list neopterin under tests for “oxidative stress/inflammation”. Neopterin is produced by macrophages and dendritic cells when they are stimulated by interferon gamma produced by T-helper type 1 (Th-1) cells. It is used as an indirect measure of the “activation” of the cellular immune system.

    Disorders that can cause elevated neopterin levels include (but are not limited to):

    [1] Viral infection (acute or chronic)
    [2] Bacterial infections
    [3] Parasitic infections
    [4] Malignant tumors (cancer)
    [5] Autoimmune disorders
    [6] Trauma

    One of neopterin’s actions is to increase the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) – such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide – and other reactive compounds in macrophages, dendritic cells and monocytes. Thus, neopterin is not a marker of “oxidative stress”, it is one possible cause of “oxidative stress”.

    However, low neopterin levels do not mean that “oxidative stress” (caused by, say, exposure to hyperbaric oxygen) is low – just that immune-system-mediated “oxidative stress” triggered by production of interferon gamma is low.

    Somehow, I doubt that the subtlety of that distinction will be noticed by Geier and Geier.

    Prometheus

  2. livsparents February 16, 2010 at 00:01 #

    I just love the level of conspiratorial ‘analysis’ that is needed to be done by those folks in CoMed in order to keep the thimeresol/autism epidemic theory afloat. Read through this document; it’s not about finding the logical flaw in the document, it’s about finding ALL the logical flaws. Anyone remember those puzzles on the back of that kids early reader magazine, Hightlights? OK kids, find all the things that are wrong in this picture:

    http://mercury-freedrugs.org/docs/091230_NOTE_Autism&MercuryInCurrentVaccinationPrograms_b.pdf

    One of my favorite lines:
    “Apparently realizing that the dose was not sufficient to mask the prior Hg poisoning, in 2004, the CDC officially began recommending giving…”
    The world is closing in on you ‘Dr’ King and it ain’t a conspiracy…it’s your flawed reasoning, and no amount of conspiratorial duct tape is going to patch the holes…

  3. Mike Stanton February 16, 2010 at 00:51 #

    The Geiers say that they use LabCorps for most of their testing. So perhaps they still do a bit themselves in their basement lab.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. blog-thing : Geier! Geier! Pants on Fire! - May 9, 2011

    […] a while nothing happened, except that the Geiers expanded their horizons with a nasty little franchise, The ASD Centers, LLC, offering their dubious protocol in states across the USA. Then the Chicago […]

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